NETCCN Quarterly Update: Live TeleCritical Care Support

December 31, 2020  |  Download PDF

NETCCN Logo

The National Tele-critical Care Network (NETCCN) project is one of TATRC’s primary initiatives in response to COVID-19. As previously reported in the TATRC Times, this project was established as a novel means to provide remote, expert care to locations that were overwhelmed providing COVID care. The most precious, rate limiting resource during this pandemic is the clinical expertise to manage the most critically ill population when the local care facility is overwhelmed.

In June of 2020, TATRC launched a competitive project to rapidly develop prototype solution sets that allow critical care clinical expertise to reach points of need using an “anywhere to anywhere” model that is not constrained by traditional hospital network limitations. In the first initial phase, 9 teams rapidly developed prototype mobile application solution sets, and in the second phase, 6 of these teams advanced to enhance their basic solution set. The third phase of NETCCN, which commenced in the 4th quarter of 2020, featured 4 teams providing actual clinical support to locations in need.

By December 2020, the impact of the NETCCN tools and clinical teams had been felt in small hospitals in Guam, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota. Not only did this solution provide essential support to locations in critical need, but it provided valuable lessons learned about how to enhance and scale the next phase of the NETCCN product line; which is planned to include collaboration between these 4 discrete systems.

One of our current NETCCN partners at Avera, Ms. Lisa Lindgren, stated, “It has been our profound privilege to participate in the NETCCN program. The NETCCN platform not only rewards us as our patriotic duty to help patients via telemedicine across the United States, it also aligns precisely with the mission of Avera. Care to patients should never be determined by their geographical location and this platform truly allows expert remote care to happen anywhere. We have completed over a thousand interactions in just a few short months of being live, which not only supported local clinicians in the traditional hospital settings, but also assisted with the conservation of PPE, decreased exposure risks to our frontline workers and supported home patients. This decreased the need for inpatient beds, but also allowed for a safe way to monitor those who were discharged earlier than normal due to the need for hospital beds for higher acuity patients.”

NETCCN continues to expand its reach and in 2021 / 2022, the NETCCN line will mature, and systematically advance to a point where it can be transitioned to our partners at the Department of Health and Human Services of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response for use in future disaster support situations.

For more information on the most up to date usage of the NETCCN solution sets, please visit the NETCCN page on TATRC’s website: www.tatrc.org/netccn.


This article was published in the March 2021 issue of the TATRC Times.